T Nation

Rugby-Maintain Muscle/Gain Strength


Hey guys im going to be starting rugby for the first time this week, 2 practices a week and a game on saturdays, im sitll going to be lifting 4 days in the gym, and im going to up my food intake, and im stopping cardio alltogether in the gym

However is there anything else i should do to minimize muscle loss? and cna i still make strength an size gains while playing rugby? or will i be in a maintain muscle mode and burning fat?


You cant do rugby half assed mate.
Stopping cardio?? why? Do you think theres no cardio component in The game?
You tend to build strength and mass pre/off season. In season involves a lot of skill work (which youll need) and practice, drills etc etc. Strength is maintained/little gains - as is mass.

What position are you looking to play?


I personally wouldn't stop your cardio when you only have two practices and a game a week, unless they are very heavily fitness based with less skill work. I made that mistake a couple years back and was completely out of shape for the games. It doesn't take much to maintain/increase your VO2, I would just add in some quick paced jogs after your workouts. Upping your food intake is good, just make sure you dont skimp on in. I wouldn't be attempting to be making significant gains in the gym, though if your a beginner, you'll probably see some, despite being in-season. You should probabaly cut down on the lifting volume a bit, especially if you start to feel a bit run-down. Just make sure your getting lots of sleep and food and I think you shouldn't lose strength/muscle. Oh, and as soon as you are able to handle sprints, I'd start doing them if you want to excel. If you need anything else feel free to PM me.


well i can only jog for 20 mins and i feel dead after that as well as my legs/joint ache for al ong time after

the practices and games of course are going to have lots lots more running than i am used to/able to do, so i dont think id be able to do that ontop of lifting ontop of cardio every day in the gym i would over train hard core after a few weeks of that

im goign to be a forward, either tightend or looseend prop im 6'3 300 so im the small compact guy they said thats perfect for forward position heh


whoa! 6'3 300 in small? i'd hate to play agaist u guys


If 300#'s is correct and not a typo I would up the cardio.

You will need it on the pitch.

All the strength in the world doesn't do you any good if you can't get to the ball.

Amd sure to do some interval training mixing in sprints. Don't just do steady state cardio.

Good luck and have fun.


your a definate prop at that size but dont feel that size is the answer to propping. Youll end up coming up against a smaller wiser guy who can hand you your ass if your not technically sound.

Look into gpp. Lots of crossover - use sandbag drills and gain some CV from that before going into any interval type stuff.

Just a suggestion, be preparred to work buddy!


"You may be the best technical scrummager in a game, but you will not be effective if are not able to perform after the first few minutes due to fatigue. Research undertaken in 1992 (McLean, 1992, Journal of sports sciences) indicated that there were between 24 and 45 scrums in a 5-Nations match, so endurance is essential (and the game physical demands of the game have advanced since this research, due to professionalism and law changes making the game quicker!).

Similarly, a scrum-half who cannot be at every breakdown to begin the next phase of play after every ruck and maul will never reach the top, and if he is not powerful or fast enough to exploit space around the base of the scrum, his game will lack a dimension.

Above are two examples highlighting examples of some positional demands of the players. However, every player (regardless of his position) needs to be able to work at high intensities with small rest breaks for 80 minutes. Top level players will run between 4000m and 6000m in a game (bearing in mind that 5000m constitutes an endurance event in athletics), much of it at high intensities."


Strength endurance...cardio endurance...strength endurance...cardio endurance...strength endurance......cardio endurance...make it your mantra.

I'd put the endurance and physical conditioning of top flight ruggers against just about anyone.


Good point. At 300#'s interval training may not be for you yet.


im not quite familar what GPP is, or what CV is or crossover drills and all that im still fairly new to the fitness world

as for not being ready for intervals i can do intervals on the cycle no problem, however running id be able to do mabye one or two then i would die heh